Awesome Experience!

First, if you haven’t seen this story about a woman and a rescued bumblebee becoming friends, watch this:

And now for my story. I was out in the garden today, and I saw a huge bumblebee sitting on the ground, not moving. I touched it, and discovered it was alive, but obviously very weak. Thinking of the above video, I picked it up (which took a bit of courage as it was HUGE) and brought it over to some comfrey flowers. It immediately stuck out its feeding tube, and started eating. So I spent a few minutes moving my hand around from flower to flower. After maybe five minutes, as it seemed stronger, I decided to put it on a clump of flowers and leave it…but after it drank from the last flower, it turned around to face me, and stretched out its legs toward me! When I put my hand out to it, it immediately stepped onto my fingers. Sweet little thing….I sincerely believe it knew I was helping it! So I carried it around to more flowers…until it suddenly revived, buzzed its wings, and flew away. It would probably have died if I hadn’t found it, and I’m so glad I did.

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Butterflies, Rainbows, and First Pears!

First of all…the pears! I planted this tree about four years ago, and this year, it not only bloomed for the first time, but it’s also setting quite a lot of fruit. It’s a Seckel, a miniature pear.

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Really happy to see this. I hope the squirrels don’t eat them all…the squirrels are becoming a major problem for my entire neighborhood. They are destroying everyone’s garden, eating everyone’s fuit, nesting in attics, and actually chewing off one neighbor’s house siding! They are literally just rats with fluffy tails, and one neighbor is going to try shooting them with a bb gun. I have my doubts he’ll manage to hit any, much less control the problem, and I suspect I’ll need to start treating this overpopulation of squirrels like I do when I have an overpopulation of rats. People….if you wouldn’t put food out for rats, don’t feed the squirrels, either. They are not “cute” when they start eating your house siding right off your walls!

What is cute is a mama hen, teaching her chicks to roost for the first time.

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Sansa has had it with nest boxes…she and her chicks now roost every night. They still snuggle underneath her, however!

We don’t have many butterflies in my area apparently – because I hardly ever see any, despite my garden being filled with flowers for them. One variety we do see occasionally is the Western Yellow Swallowtail. It normally flits through at top speed, and about the time I see it, it’s gone.

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Yesterday, it not only stuck around for several moments, it allowed me to get REALLY close with my camera! Such a gorgeous big one, too…it was fully four inches across.

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It felt like a gift from God.

Also a gift…when I got off work last night at 8pm, there was a rainbow waiting for me. It was so strange, because I’ve never seen a rainbow before when it wasn’t raining, and not only had it been sunny all day, but the skies looked like this:

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There was just one little patch of darker clouds over to the southeast, and a rainbow. By the time I got home, the skies surrounding the bow were darker still, there was only a little bit of the rainbow left:

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Thank you, Lord, for the promise of what’s past…and the warning of what’s to come.

Chicks and Bunnies!

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Just look at the feet on this little Rex fellow! He’s only about four weeks old.

They were much smaller such a short time ago….

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They grow so fast.

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Here’s a video when they were just about twelve days old:

And here’s another at four weeks:

We also have new chicks on the farm. Two are with Ophelia, and apparently I didn’t get pictures yet, so those will be for another blog. The other two are Dark Cornish, a traditional meat breed. We’re giving them a try, to see how it goes. They are fostered on Sansa, my 1 year old Cream Legbar. She is a perfect mother.

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It is so much fun to see chicks out in nature with their mother, learning how to be real chickens.

I’ve also been working in the garden. I got the roof on the meat chicken coop finally:

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Don’t you just love the metal duck? I also bought a metal chicken!

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She is hanging out in the brand new wildlife garden area. It’s still very much a work in progress.

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I also got the summer kitchen largely completed. The roof is on, the lights are installed, and I have a sink and counter, even if neither is *quite* finished. It’s usable, at least.

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I need to add a door onto this sink cabinet, at some point. And also install a faucet.

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I’m really pleased with my kale bed. Last year, it bolted, so I cut it off at the ground, and covered it in some mulch/rabbit poop. I was getting ready to replant, when to my surprise, the kale came back up from the roots, flourished the rest of the summer, and overwintered to provide some gorgeous kale in the very early summer. It’s just beginning to bolt again, so I think I’ll cut it off again at the roots and see if I can keep this bed going forever!

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Very early spring, before the roses and the peonies and the rest of the drama queen flowers bloom, is really my favorite time in the garden. Everything is SO beautiful.

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What in the World is Going On?

In the nineteenth century, Queen Victoria once asked her Prime Minister: “Mr. Disraeli, what evidence can you give me of the existence of God?” After thinking for a brief moment, the PM replied, “The Jew, your Majesty.”

This is as true now as it was then. The mere existence of the Jew – and of Israel – is an absolute miracle. Israel was destroyed as a nation in 70 A.D., and just as the Bible foretold, the Jewish people were scattered throughout all the nations of the world. The Bible also predicted that 2/3 of them would be killed, and afterward, the remnant would be re-gathered back to their land, and the nation of Israel would be reborn in a single day. For hundreds of years, this was believed to be impossible, and proof that the Bible couldn’t be trusted. No nation, in the history of the world, has EVER been destroyed as Israel was, and yet was reborn.

But then the holocaust happened, and 2/3 of the European Jews were killed, and a remnant of them returned to their historical land. In their absence, it had become a desert swampland, completely undesirable. Mark Twain, when he visited the area, said “a desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action…we never saw a human being on the whole route…there was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of the worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”

Fast forward around 150 years. The Bible said that when the Jews returned, their nation would be reborn in a single day – and it was, on May 14th, 1948. The Bible also said that Israel would bloom and grow green, and “fill the face of the world with fruit”. From being barren, Israel is now the leading supplier of fruit to Europe!

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Bible prophecies have been proven, over and over again, to be 100% accurate, 100% of the time, but there are still many prophecies left to be fulfilled. These remaining prophecies are ALLcoming to pass, right now, right in our time.

Very soon now, Damascus is not only going to be a ‘heap of ruins’ but will be so completely ‘taken away from being a city’ that no one will ever live in it again. Will Israel finally be threatened enough to wipe Assad out with a nuclear weapon? We’re on the brink of that, today, right as I write this. And once Damascus is gone, will the prophecies of Ezekial 38-39 be immediately fulfilled, when most of the nations of the world (notably including the current alliance of Russia, Turkey, and Iran named in the prophecy) gather together against Israel and seek to destroy her? The remaining nations will not attempt to stop this, they will merely accuse Russia and the others of coming to ‘take a spoil’ of Israel’s riches of gas and oil.

Fortunately for Israel, God in on her side, and will always rise up to protect her. Yesterday, Israel was attacked by rockets fired from Syria. Israel shot down four of the rockets. The rest landed in back in Syria! When the nations gather against Israel in the near future, however, God’s intervention will be immediate and undeniable. There will be a great earthquake, “and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep place shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I (God) will plead against him (the leader of Russia) with pestilence, and with blood, and I will rain upon him…and upon the many people with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. And thus…they will know that I am God.” So many of the enemy will die that Israel will be burying the dead for seven months.

This sounds very similar to the description of coming destruction upon the world in Revelation 6:12: “And…there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood…and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And (all peoples on earth) hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and the rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come and who shall be able to stand?”

Before this day of wrath, God has promised to save all those who trust in Jesus Christ as their savior out of the world. He gave us a HUGE list of prophecies and future events, and told us that “when these things begin to happen, look up” for He will be returning to take us away. In the movies, the “rapture” as it is commonly known, is a sudden but secret event, where millions of people just suddenly vanish up to heaven, leaving no sign of what happened. I believe it’s going to be a lot more dramatic than that. I believe that when we go, God’s wrath will immediately fall upon the evil world. There will be seven years of increasingly terrible events: wars, and famines, and disease, and blatantly supernatural happenings. Most of the world will die, or be killed. Only a tiny, tiny remnant (including the Jews) will be left at the end, when Jesus returns again to put His feet back on the world He created. And when He does return, those of us who he took away earlier will be with him. Oh, God, how I look forward to this! To watch Him wipe away the curse of the this world and restore it to its perfect state. To help him rule it, sitting upon His throne with Him, kings and queens over all creation.

Very, very soon – quite possibly even this year, judging by how quickly ALL the Bible’s prophecies are being fulfilled, these things will start to come to pass. The true, born-again believers in Christ will vanish away, never to die, never to feel any grief or pain ever again, never to feel anything but incredible joy and pleasure, and those who chose to refuse His free gift of salvation will be plunged into the worse horror the world has ever known. It won’t be too late, even then, so if you’re reading this and you don’t believe it’s true, I hope you’ll remember these words when you see it happen with your own eyes. I hope you’ll recognize it, for what it is, and not fall prey to lies of the world, and the false reassurance of the world leader who is to come. Instead, I hope you’ll turn to a Bible, and read the book of John.

Check out these prophecies for yourself:
Hosea 4:3✔️ here’s a link for the mass animal deaths worldwide
http://www.end-times-prophecy.org/ani…
Acts 2:17✔️ visions and dreams (youtube rapture dream you’ll see thousands of them or end time dream)
Acts 2:19✔️ wonders in the heavens
Acts 2:20✔️ blood red moon tetrads, eclipses
Jeremiah 25:31✔️ (youtube strange sounds in the sky worldwide)
Daniel 12:4✔️ knowledge increase
2 Peter 3:3✔️ scoffers saying “where is the promise of his coming?”
2 Timothy 3:1-5 ✔️ perilous times.. Describes the times we see right now.. The character of people
Joel 2:28✔️
Mark 13:7-8 ️✔️wars and rumours of wars, earthquakes
Luke 21:11✔️ earthquakes and pestilences
Luke 21:25✔️ – distress of nations, rivers raging, blood red moon tetrads, unscheduled blood red moons, star of Bethlehem shone June. 30. 15 for the first time in 2000 years, revelation 12 sign was seen in the heavens Sept. 23. 17, Aug. 21. 2017 full solar eclipse
Zechariah 12: 1-3✔️ Nations gathering against Israel.. Look at resolution 2334
Matthew 24:10✔️ many will be offended perfect example of today and the political correctness agenda

Matthew 24: 33-34 Israel became a nation in 1948. The generation that saw Israel become a nation will certainly not pass.

Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 all coming to pass as we speak.

Isaiah 17:1 is soon to be fulfilled and when it does it will most likely be the catalyst that brings about the Ezekiel 38 war.
Ezekiel 38 forming
Psalm 83 forming
Mark of the beast technology.
Peace talks
Wars and rumors of wars
Talks about rebuilding temple:
– Search for eligible priest for 3rd temple
– Animal sacrifice to begin soon
Freak lightning and hail storms
HUGE sinkholes
One world religion agenda – interfaith movement. Muslims, Jews, and “a form of Christianity” praying to “same god” in Sept. 2016 for one week in Jerusalem.
New world order agenda

The ten plagues of Moses have made a comeback in 2016:
Waters to blood✅
Frogs✅
Gnats or lice✅
Swarms of flies✅
Animals die✅
Boils✅
Hail✅
Locusts✅

Those are just SOME of the prophecies coming to pass before our eyes

Jesus IS coming…and it WILL be within our lifetime. As for me, I’m looking up with greater and greater anticipation – I am so ready to leave this broken and destroyed earth behind!

New Babies – Rabbits!

Last month I bred my two Rex does for the first time. About five days ago, one or both of them gave birth.

There are six of them, and I’m not entirely sure whether both does gave birth in the same nestbox (entirely possible in a colony situation like mine) or only one of the does was actually pregnant. Either way, all six kits are extremely fat and healthy, and squeak and try to suck on my fingers when I pick them up.

I’ll get good pictures once they are older – I’m trying not to bother them too much at this stage. One is solid grey.

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Two are black otters, and three more are white and black spotted.

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The does, which got EXTREMELY hormonal and feisty during the pregnancy (both of them!) are now calming down. I can actually pet Blackberry again without risking losing a chunk of skin. (I have a nice healing mark on the back of my hand where she managed to nail me while I was trying to put food in her bowl.) I kept hearing from people who said you can’t breed rabbits in a colony situation because the does will kill each other’s kits – or fight each other. I confess I got a bit worried when they turned so crazy-mean to me, but other than a bit of chasing around at feeding time, they continued to enjoy each other’s company. I’d see them snuggling together and grooming each other.  I think it helps that they are sisters, and have never known life apart from each other. They also don’t seem to mind me handling the babies!

At the end of April, I’ll have new chickens in the family, too. Sansa, my Cream Legbar hatched last Spring, has gone broody for me.

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I plan on giving her a couple of chicks from our local feed store. Probably a Speckled Sussex, and maybe a black sexlink.

And just last night, my proven broody mama, Ophelia, my frizzle cochin, decided she wants in on the action. As she never really cares about her children once they reach the age of self-sufficiency, I’m giving her the meat chicks this year. We’re trying three Dark Cornish as an experiment this year, and about 5-6 Freedom Rangers. She’s a big girl, so these larger clutches work out really well with her.

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Spring is busting out all over here…for the first time, my young pear trees are covered in buds!

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The Story of a Beloved Chicken

And first off, let me reassure those of you who know her….no, Ellie hasn’t died. In fact, she is in perfect health. But she is a miracle hen in more ways than one, and it’s time to tell her whole story.

Ellie came to me about eight years ago, via a mail order delivery that went wrong in so many ways. Several of the chicks died, but Ellie was one of the lucky ones that made it.

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She was a teeny, tiny little Welsummer, who I thought was a rooster for a long time because of her super long legs and demanding voice. She used to stand on top of her water bottle and call for me to come pick her up. She knew, even before I did, how special our relationship was.

A few animals are just like that. Some people call them ‘heart animals’, those special one-of-a-kind beasties that touch you and connect with you in a way other animals haven’t. Ellie is definitely my heart animal.

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She put up with my costuming (although she was extremely leery of Captain Jack) and she quickly learned how to make a beeline for the back kitchen door whenever I let her out into the yard. She knows where all the good treats are!

She has perfect trust of me, and she’s the only chicken I’ve ever entirely trusted as well. I know she won’t try to peck my face, and before she jumps up in my lap, she makes a special point of pooping first – friends don’t poop on friends!

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Her one flaw is her insane jealousy – she doesn’t want to share me with the other hens. If I hold one of the other girls, she turns her back on me, and walks away, sadly.

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And then she stands in a corner, looking back over at me until I relent and put the other chicken down and pick her up instead.

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She has me trained, a peck on my knees means I should sit, so she can sit in my lap. A peck on my shoes means I should take her on a walk around the yard. I’m not even making this stuff up. None of my other chickens are remotely like her. They are sweet girls, but Ellie is special in so many ways.

When she was a little over a year old, she began to suffer from vent prolapses. I don’t recommend googling this unless you have a strong stomach. The pictures aren’t pretty, and most chickens don’t survive unless they have a very mild case of it. Ellie’s case, while not horrific as some, was incessant. It was happening continually, for months, every time she pooped or laid an egg. She was a very, very good girl, and would let me help her, and I got very skilled at returning chicken internal parts up where they belonged, but I was in constant fear and dread. I knew if this continued, one day she would either prolapse so badly that she couldn’t be saved, or one of the other chickens would peck her so badly that she got an infection and died. Part of the time, she was sleeping in a crate in my bedroom to protect her from the other girls’ pecking…but that wasn’t good, either. Hens need to be with other hens, and a hen separated too long from her flock can lose her pecking order status in the flock and become an outcast. I got a few months respite during the winter when she stopped laying…and I hoped the rest would let her heal, but the following spring/summer, she was back to where she was before, only worse.

I couldn’t bear it. I was spending hours, nearly every day, researching prolapses on the internet, calling vets, trying to find some solution, and the whole time I just felt this endless, oppressive dread pressing down on me. I seriously thought I was going to have to either put her down, or else I’d come out to the coop some day and find her a bloody, ripped-apart mess. I’ve had lots of animals I’ve loved and cared for, but none of them have ever torn my heart apart like this little hen

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One afternoon, though, I was sitting with her in my lap, and I was praying over her as I often did, and God answered me. I heard a voice, as absolutely clear and audible and separate from myself as it’s possible for a voice to be, and the voice said: “Stop being afraid.” And instantly – instantly – all the fear and dread I’d been living with for months just lifted away and was completely gone. Absolutely vanished. Then the voice said: “You don’t have to worry anymore. She will not have this again.”

And I believed. There was not the slightest doubt in my mind. From that second on, I knew Ellie would never have a prolapse again. And she hasn’t. Not for seven years. Seven years, from that very instant when God cared enough to reach down and heal her. And not only heal her, but actually speak to me. Because He knew, that if He didn’t explain to me what had happened, I’d still be fearful every time she started laying eggs in the Spring; I’d be constantly worried it would start happening again.  He spoke to me, because He didn’t want me to have that dread in my life. He just wanted me to be able to enjoy my summers with my chicken.

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This is our God. He is a God who still works miracles, and He is a God who not only cares about the sparrows, but also about one little chicken. 

 

The Spring Garden

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The Nadia cherry/plum hybrid is blooming like crazy this year…for the first time! Hopefully, that means we’ll get at least a few fruits this summer. I’m really interested in what a cherry/plum tastes like.

The other young fruit trees are showing signs of a bountiful harvest as well. I think all the apples are going to bloom, and the pears as well.

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I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the garden this year…if I’m still here on earth. And of course I’d MUCH rather be gone! (see my previous blog post to know why.) But only God knows what His plans are, and whatever they are, they are perfect. Love this new stepping stone for the garden I bought this month!

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I have my greenhouse (and my kitchen window) filling with pots of started seeds, but the primary thing I’ve been doing is building the last three major builds of my little urban farm: the meat chicken coop, the Bunny Bordello, and the wildlife garden corner.

The egg chickens don’t like the annual takeover of their coop by a dozen crazy teenaged Little Meats, so I decided to remodel the old duck coop into a coop that would work for the meat chickens.

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I took off the nesting area, added an enlargement to the indoor area, then reattached the nesting area to the right side. Until the Little Meats arrive (I have three dark Cornish coming April 23rd, plus I’ll get a handful of Freedom/Red Rangers) the egg girls are using it as a fun place to hang out and lay their eggs. They like variety, my hens. I’m desperately hoping that one of them will go broody in the next couple of weeks and save me the trouble of hand-raising these little meaties.

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Another view of the remodeled coop. The stepping stones lead through the mini “food forest” I’m planting, right to the nest box area.

Yesterday, I finished the Bunny Bordello. This is the male rabbit’s new home, right next to the does’ Bunny Barn.

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Sorrel loves it. Not only does he have more room to play, he can interact with the does through the adjoining wire door.

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A couple of weeks ago, I bred both the does to him, and they were perfect little angels about it…no issues at all. Since they’ve since stopped humping each other and started trying to burrow, I think the pregnancy took in both does. I should have babies the first week of April!

My third project (and this one will be very much on-going all Spring and Summer) is the wildlife garden. My first action was to build a fence on the back side, adjoining the neighbor’s fence. I still need to continue my fence at some point right alongside of his, because he built his far too short, and way too full of gaps. Wild rabbits can (and do!) waltz right through his boards to come eat my veggies. Temporarily, I’ve put hardware cloth along the bottom of his fence to keep the rabbits out. I do want this to be a wildlife garden, but the wild rabbits are taking over our neighborhood, and if I let them in, I couldn’t have any food left for me or MY rabbits! Also, in the front of the picture, where the pear espalier tree is, I will be putting up a shorter fence, just to define the area, and keep my wild corgi out.

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On the wall, I hung a set of mirrors my mom gave me. I adore mirrors in a garden.

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I’m building a set of birdhouses to line the lower fence on the left side. The first one had interested possible occupants the morning after I put it up! Also, notice the blue table. This is what you call working with circumstances. That blue table is actually an ancient washing machine that was dumped in a corner of my yard. It was filled with dirt and rocks, and really just immoveable. So I spray painted it blue, put on a wood top, and added a bowl of water for the birds.

I need to start working on planting things. I want to have some more fruit producing trees/bushes for the birds, herbs and flowers for the bees/butterflies, and some dye plants for me. I’ll be also putting in a very small wildlife pond. Very small! And look, I found this adorable frog sculpture to sit on my log. He looks so realistic I do a double take when I walk past him. Hopefully, once I have the pond, I’ll attract some genuine live frogs.

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I like having logs in my garden. The bugs like them, and as they break down, interesting things happen: here, a foxglove has actually seeded itself inside.

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In my April 23rd chick order, I’m also getting three bantam cochin hens. Besides being great broody hens for more fragile eggs, I’m going to put these smaller chickens to work in my garden, using a chicken tractor, and also some free-ranging in areas where I hope they will be less destructive than standard sized hens. These girls will be hand-raised by me, so they will be super friendly and sweet.  At first, they will living together in a small separate coop, but if they manage to integrate with my older hens, they will be able to move into the regular coop eventually.

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One last thing, a dear friend of mine just started a blog documenting her and her husband’s journey towards self-reliance, simplicity, and marital happiness.  I highly recommend you check it out: http://making-it-home.net/